Today should be my Mom's 78th birthday. I should've called her today and explained that I'm saving her gift to give her in person when her and Dad come next week for Christmas, only to rush out the day of their arrival to get something...I SHOULD have, but unfortunately, I can't do that any longer.
My Mom died on July 4, 2009, so this is the second time that her birthday has come and no such phone call was made. No last minute flowers were ordered...no "sorry your card is a little late"...no "we have appointments at the spa for next week"...nothing.
Last year I was really, really sad on this day. Before anyone misinterprets, please know that today was difficult, and filled with moments of sadness, but today was not like last year. Last year I was sucked down in a hole of depression and sadness that I was unsure if I would ever come out of. Last year was simply bad.
But, this year is better....better than I would have dared imagine it could be. This year is more reflective than despairing. This year I can focus on all of the wonderful things, and how I appreciate them instead of yearning for nothing more than to have those things back. I understand now that the pain is part of the journey, and sometimes without the pain you are unable to see the beauty in the every day.
Losing so much has helped me see that beauty in every day.
So today, as every day, I have thought much of my Mom. I find myself looking at my kids and thinking how much she would get a kick out of them at this stage, and yet at the same time, thankful that she was able to see what she saw of their lives.
I learned so much from her...and so many of those traits that drove me nuts are the traits I see coming out in my own personality, and suddenly they're not so irritating! She taught (by example, of course) that making people feel welcome and warm in your home is such a wonderful gift to give your friends. I love having people over, and find that I am honestly happiest when the house is full and the party is in full swing...I look around and see smiles, hear laughs, and that is a feeling of complete joy that I know she felt on many an occasion.
She is missed by so many, and not a day goes by that I don't think about her. As a teenager I swore to NEVER be like her, and now, as an adult, I hope that some day my own children look back at me as their Mom and have similar feelings as I do for mine...her death left a void in my life that can never be filled, but her presence in my life was a gift that can never be taken away from me.
Happy Birthday Mom...I love you.